Fake Paralympians boss says: "I didn't know anything about cheating."

He is the only legal person responsible for the basketball cheaters who feigned their way to Paralympic gold in Sydney 2000.

Fake Paralympians boss says: "I didn't know anything about cheating."

He is the only legal person responsible for the basketball cheaters who feigned their way to Paralympic gold in Sydney 2000. He said that the allegations against him are "absurd" and not based on factual evidence.

Some consider it the worst example ever of cheating in sports history. It was revealed that only two of the 12 members of Spain's basketball team with intellectual disabilities won gold at Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.

This scandal resulted in a complete ban on athletes with intellectual disabilities from the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics. It also destroyed the careers of thousands upon thousands of athletes around the globe.

A Spanish court found Fernando Martin Vicente to be the one who "decorated and executed" the plan to recruit talented non-disabled young basketball players. He was then president of the Spanish Sports Federation for People with Intellectual Disability, Feddi, and vice-president at the Spanish Paralympic Committee.

After he admitted to the fraud, he was fined 5,400 euros (PS4,600). 18 other defendants were also dropped including the fake Paralympians.

Fernando Martin Vicente wrote a three-page letter to the BBC, his first public statement about the scandal since 2013's court proceedings. He denies any involvement.

"How did it happen?" It was who encouraged it? Who were the doctors and professionals who supported it? He says, "Sincerely, I don’t know,"

He claims he took the Rap as president of Feddi, but he also says that his record in pioneering learning disability sport after his daughter was diagnosed as having a severe intellectual disability as an infant shows how absurd and unfounded the accusations against him.

It is widely believed that Fernando Martin Vicente was responsible for the introduction of events for intellectually handicapped athletes at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games, and expansion at Sydney 2000.

Miguel Sagarra (secretary general of the Spanish Paralympic Committee) rejects Fernando Martin Vicente’s attempts to shift the blame.

He says, "It is impossible." Fernando Martin is a well-known person who would tell you that it's impossible for something like this to have happened without his knowledge.

He added: "The accusation is very well-founded. In his final statement, the judge stated that everything was done according to Fernando Martin's instructions.

He also said that Fernando Martin Vicente's record of being a champion in intellectual disability sports is "not relevant" when it comes to his guilt or innocence.

Ramon Torres was the captain of the team. He was one of two basketball players who actually had an intellectual disability but had to return his medal just like the rest. He claims he raised concerns regarding the team's new recruits, but was assured that everything was fine.

Torres says that Fernando Martin now says he doesn’t know anything about it.

"Ofcourse he knew everything about it. He seemed to be a larger man than I thought.

He did something wrong. He should apologize and be happy.

Dan Pepper, presenter for The Fake Paralympians series and a swimmer who lost his best chance at a Paralympic Medal because of the ban in 2004 and 2008 on intellectually disabled athletes, claims Fernando Martin Vicente’s denial is "just adding salt to the wounds".

"He has never spoken out about it and now he is claiming that it had nothing to do with him. It just seems totally bonkers."

Why did Fernando Martin Vicente commit the fraud, according to the court?

Sagarra believes it was to increase the visibility of Spanish intellectual disability sports - and to consolidate himself as a leader in this area.

Sagarra says that "He did everything to make it possible to become the man who put the sport of athletes with intellectual disabilities on the top", "imagining that nobody would realize the extent of his irregularities."

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